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4 Reasons Why Strength Training for Fat Loss Is the Best Strategy

strength training for fat loss


When you're considering a cardio or strength training for fat loss your best choice is the most efficient choice. That said, cardio is certainly more enticing as it has a lower learning curve. However, strength training is a better overall strategy for fat loss due to its many benefits.

#1 Compound Movements Burn More Calories

compound movements

When strength training, you're either performing isolation exercises or compound exercises. An example of an isolation exercise is tricep dips because the sole focus is on your triceps and you're not engaging other muscles to perform the movement. An example of a compound exercise is a squat because you're engaging your glutes, back, core, hamstrings, and quadriceps to perform the movement. The more muscles that you need to perform an exercise the more calories that exercise will burn. Therefore, a compound exercise like a squat will always provide greater calorie burn.

#2 Cardio Only Burns Calories DURING Your Workout

calories burned during cardio

Low-intensity cardio like jogging is a solid way to burn extra calories. However it's not the most efficient method because it doesn't encourage much muscle stress. The lack of muscle stress means it hardly activates EPOC.Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, is used to return your body to its resting state and it helps your body adapt to the muscle stress of the exercise you performed.

Less muscle stress means less need for oxygen to support the muscle repair process and little need for EPOC. The increased need for oxygen post workout is valuable because a side effect of EPOC is an increase in calories burned. EPOC is known to increase your calories burned 13% three hours after you exercise and 4% sixteen hours post exercise.

#3 Strength Training Burns Calories Even AFTER Your Workout

does strength training burn calories

Strength training burns excess calories even after your workout because it requires EPOC during the recovery process. Strength training targets your muscles with excessive stress that later promotes muscle growth in strength and size. Your body recognizes the stress and strain caused by an exercise and reinforces your muscle fibers as a defense mechanism. That reinforcement is a part of the post workout recovery process which requires Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and its calorie burning benefits.

#4 Extra Muscle Mass Burns More Calories To Maintain

muscle burns more calories than fat

When your body is in a resting state it is still burning calories for energy. It uses that energy to support your metabolism and bodily functions like breathing, thinking, and eating. The makeup of your body mass whether fat, muscle, or bone mass etc. determines how much energy it needs to maintain every day, and thus how many calories it's burning.

Muscle mass requires more energy to maintain than fat mass. Therefore, the more healthy muscle mass you have on your body the more calories your body demands even in its resting state. The difference in demand is significant. When your body is at rest 10 pounds of muscle burns 50 calories while 10 pounds of fat burns just 20 calories. Therefore strength training which stimulates muscle growth provides the best long-term strategy for fat loss.